Meet our team of advisors, presenters and guests artists who support our passion for excellence in Dance Education.
Master of Arts in Dance – York University (2 yrs)
Bachelor of Arts in Dance – York University (4 yrs)
Bachelor of Education – Medaille College (1 yr)
Professional Ballet Teacher Training Program Grad – Canada’s National Ballet School (3 yrs)
Cecchetti Associates Diploma – Cecchetti Society of Canada
Principal’s Qualifications 1 & 2: OECTA & ETFO (1 yr)
Professional Ballet Teacher Training Program Grad – American Ballet Theatre
Director/Choreographer/Professional Performance Experience
Dance Studio Owner – 8 years
Professional Dance Team Director – 8 years
Professional Dancer – 13 years
A graduate of 2 world-renowned professional ballet teacher training programs at Canada’s National Ballet School and the American Ballet Theatre, Jolanta Oko is the Founder/Director of Canada’s National Academy of Dance Education. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Dance and Master of Arts in Dance from York University. Jolanta holds her Associates Diploma from the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is an Ontario Certified School Teacher.
Jolanta has directed professional dance teams across Ontario and danced professionally in the CFL, NAFL, CSL, USL, and MSL. She founded the All Canadian All-Girl Dance Company “Maple Sugar” in 2004 that toured across Ontario for 3 years. Nominated for the Hamilton Arts Innovator Award in 2018 and 2019, Jolanta is an experienced leader in the Canadian Dance Education. Her plethora of experience includes being a dance teacher for 23 years, a studio owner for 8, and a school teacher for 12 years.
She has travelled across Canada facilitating Dance Educator Conferences and Workshops for School Boards, Dance Studios, Dance Studio Owners, Dance Teachers, and School Teachers. She is the author of over 10 Dance Resources, designed to help Dance Educators both in the Studio and School Board sectors deliver a 21st-century dance education to their students. Going into the 4th year as Founder/Director of Canada’s National Academy of Dance Education she is proud to acknowledge our global alumni community.
Sarah Murphy-Dyson was a 1st soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. After retirement, she was cast in the North American premiere of Dirty Dancing (Mirvish) which brought her to Toronto. Sarah has appeared on such shows as Suits, Diggstown, Rookie Blue, The Next Step, and as Isabelle’s ballet teacher in the recent American Girl movie. She has won a Gemini Award and has worked as a stunt double for Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale and Jaime King. Ms. Murphy-Dyson holds a BFA in theatre from the University of Winnipeg.
Sheona Bell, named in 1992 to the position of Co-Artistic Director of the Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance in Mississauga, is a graduate of the Dance Program at the University of Waterloo and the National Ballet School of Canada where she was awarded her Teacher Training Program Certificate. Ms Bell also has her Advanced Cecchetti Diploma and is a Fellowship Member of the Cecchetti Society. Her expertise as a ballet master teacher, have lead to her having taught prospective teacher training students at Canada’s National Ballet School. Ms. Bell has worked hard to develop a high standard of technique for the dancers at her studio.
Tanya Berg holds a PhD in Dance Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada and she is a graduate of the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School. In addition to teaching ballet in private dance studios, Tanya has taught at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education since 2003. Tanya has presented papers at the Canadian Society for Dance Studies Conference in Montreal (2012), the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers, France (2014) and most recently at the Corps de Ballet International conference in Sarasota, Florida (2016). Her 2015 publication in Research In Dance Education discusses how the current trend of digital video surveillance in commercial dance studios is increasing the panopticism already present in dance education. Her doctoral research, facilitated by her studio and academic backgrounds, explores the kinesthetic dialogue present in ballet pedagogy.
Linda Arkelian’s dancing experience has been expansive and varied, having performed internationally with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Theatre Ballet of Canada, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre and the Judith Marcuse Dance Company. She was the recipient of a Canada Council grant in 1991. She is a Ballet Instructor at SFU and Lamondance. Linda is also an actor, artist and film maker. Her film collaborations with David Cooper have been screened internationally.
Born in Melville, Saskatchewan and raised in Regina, Carrie Broda began her dance training at Myers Dance Centre. She trained professionally at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, graduating from the Professional Division in 1996. While still in the RWB School, Broda made her professional debut in the Company’s 1994 production of Swan Lake. Broda joined the RWB as an apprentice in 1998 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2000. For the 2006/07 she was promoted to second soloist. During her time with the RWB, Broda has been featured in many roles including Tiger Lily/Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan, Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy and The White Cat in The Sleeping Beauty, Flamingo in Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story and Don José’s Mother in Carmen, The Passion.
Originally hailing from Germany, Anne-Marie Ludwig is a former student of Canada’s National Ballet School. She initially trained under the tutelage of Anne-Marie Pilon-Gerdun; Ontario’s current provincial representative of the Cecchetti Society of Canada. She later trained with The School of Alberta Ballet’s summer programme before being accepted into their professional division by the Kilgours themselves. Upon high school graduation, Anne-Marie went on to complete her BFA (Honours) in Dance from York University. She subsequently graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School Teacher’s Training Program, becoming accredited with the Cecchetti Society in June 2011 with Distinction.
Alison Stark graduated with distinction from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts Honors Specialization in Kinesiology degree in 2014. While at the Western University, Alison specialized in athletic injuries, landing her a position as the student athletic therapist for the Mustang’s Football team in her final year. This experience sparked Alison’s interest in the area of Sport Physiotherapy, which involves on field coverage at games and practices, along with rehabilitation in the clinic in order to return the athlete back to play. In 2016, Alison earned her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Queen’s University. Shortly after graduating, Alison enrolled in the Sport Physiotherapy Fellowship through the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic in London to pursue her interest in athletic injuries. During the one year Fellowship, Alison was the Physiotherapist for all of Fanshawe College’s Varsity teams. She gained on field experience in soccer, basketball, volleyball, hockey, softball, baseball, and cross country with Fanshawe. Outside of the college, Alison gained experience in rugby at high school tournaments, and running in community road races. In the clinic, she rehabilitated a variety of active individuals to help them return to their optimal functioning. This fellowship trained Alison to create individualized return to play programs for athletes and personalize physiotherapy treatment towards specific sport requirements. After gaining numerous hours in sport coverage and sport physiotherapy mentoring, Alison now plans to pursue her Sport Physiotherapy Certificate in the next year, as well as to continue her education in manual therapy and acupuncture. She is currently the physiotherapist for the 2017-2018 midget AA girl’s hockey team, the Brock Jr. Badgers FLEET. Alison’s treatment techniques combine a mix of manual therapy and exercise training in order to return her patients back to their activity and help them achieve their physical goals.
Roselle Simard obtained her teaching diploma from the National Ballet School of Canada with a mention of honor in 2003, where she also received her certification through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing’s, Ballet and National Dance division. For a few years, Roselle taught at the National Ballet School of Canada in the professional and recreational programs, as well as playing a main role in the development of a rehabilitation program for the young dancers of the school. From 2007 to 2012, she works at the École Supérieure de ballet du Québec as Ballet Teacher and Health Co-ordinator. During these years, Roselle set up a network of specialists in the medical field to prevent dance injuries. In spring 2012 she moved to Saguenay to teach at the École Florence Fourcaudot. Her passion for teaching and supporting the artistic development of young dancers is inspiring. Besides her teaching, Roselle supports and advises the artistic team. She also wishes to reach as many individual as possible through dance and is about to start a dance program in her area for people living with Parkinson disease with the support of Dance for PD.
Krista Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Kinetics (with Honours) from St.Francis Xavier University (2009) and a Master of Science in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University (2012). As a person-focused physiotherapist, she is motivated to help people overcome their obstacles and find a higher quality of life. Throughout her initial years working as a physiotherapist, Krista has gained experience and knowledge in a variety of settings, including neuro-rehabilitation, orthopedics, pediatrics and more. Throughout her journey, she developed a particular passion for helping those with orthopedic and pelvic health conditions. Krista has obtained post-graduate certifications in advanced manual therapy skills, pelvic floor rehabilitation for both men and women, and core/pelvic floor considerations for female athletes. She works hard with her clients to help them recognize their potential, set goals and live the life they desire. Through education, manual therapy and exercise, she helps to guide her clients through their healthcare journey.
Dr. Monique Aucoin attended Dalhousie University where she studied Kinesiology and furthered her studies at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College graduating with a doctorate degree in Chiropractic. She grew up in Moncton, NB, lived in PEI and now makes her home Halifax, NS. Over the years she has been widely involved in the health industry as a Certified Personal Trainer, aerobics and Yoga instructor. In addition to completing her chiropractic degree, Dr. Aucoin has taken further training in different Chiropractic techniques such as, Activator, Spine Align, and Thompson as well as receiving a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Aucoin wrote her graduate thesis on the effectiveness of orthotics and continues active research in the orthotics industry. Dr. Aucoin is a member of the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors, the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Certified Specialist of Exercise Physiology Association, Can-fit pro From Dr. Aucoin’s Acadian background, she is fluently bilingual. Dr. Aucoin is a big believer in a well balanced life, including good nutrition, exercise, relaxation and regular Chiropractic care.
Avinash Singh has been a Physiotherapist since 2011. Avinash has worn many hats as a Physiotherapist. He has been a Clinic manager in a corporate setting to his current role as owner and manager of 4 multi-disciplinary clinics in Hamilton, Burlington and Dundas. His passion is helping people live the life they want without medications, injections and surgeries. Throughout his professional and entrepreneurial journey, he has taken many continuing education courses including a Diploma in Advanced Manual Therapy, Hand Splinting, Certification in Temporomandibular Joint (Jaw) Dysfunction, Acupuncture, Active Soft Tissue Release and more. He is passionate about teaching and has helped to shape the career path of more than 600 Physiotherapist graduates across Ontario through his mentorship and tutorship. He has been an invigilating examiner for McMaster University’s Mock OSCE’s for their Physiotherapy Program as well.
Mark Kronwald is a passionate student of human movement and is very passionate about sharing the knowledge he has gained through his years of continuous research. He has been a movement instructor for the last nine years and enjoys helping others experience the sense of freedom that comes with a human body that is capable of moving to its fullest capacity. In addition to being a movement instructor, he works as a full-time elementary school teacher with the Grand Erie District School Board. Mark is a Functional Range Conditioning mobility specialist (FRCms), Foundation Training certified instructor and Certified Yoga Instructor.
Renata Adamczyk has a background in physical therapy and injury recovery. Her personal interest in health and wellness, combined with her education, has led her to become a well-rounded practitioner, approaching health issues from different perspectives when necessary. She has been a manual osteopath and RMT for over 5 years. Her experience as a strength coach and former professional basketball player gives her an in depth knowledge of sports injuries and therapy.
Renata believes in the body’s ability to heal itself and works with her clients to help realign their body.
Holding an Honours BFA from York University, Jennifer Robichaud has had extensive dance training in many disciplines, specializing in jazz and contemporary forms. Jennifer co-founded Larchaud Dance Project in 2004 and currently holds the position as Artistic Director. A teacher of many disciplines, she is known for her innovative contemporary and creative acrobatic choreography. She leads countless workshops in the city as part of Larchaud Dance Project, and is involved with youth programming and initiatives.
Alan Lam graduated from the University of Alberta in 2013 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree. Since then, his devotion to lifelong learning has led to his pursuit of advanced orthopaedic education in order to gain a deeper knowledge in assessment and treatment approaches in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. In 2018, Alan successfully completed the Diploma of Advanced Orthopaedic Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy through the Canadian Orthopaedic Division and subsequently became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT), the highest award bestowed upon a physiotherapist in manual therapy. Additionally, he has earned certification from the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT) after successful completion of its level courses and exams, and is currently in the process of completing the prestigious Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) program at Andrews University. In 2019, Alan became only one of a handful of physiotherapists to earn the title of a certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in Canada. He has also obtained certification in Chan Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) from the University of British Columbia. Alan particularly enjoys treating dancers and the exciting challenge that comes with dealing with the many intricacies of this population. He believes that successful rehabilitation can be achieved only when a person is treated as a whole, rather than treating isolated units of dysfunction. A thorough comprehensive assessment, utilization of clinical reasoning, and approaching problems as a quadrant is a key component for successful outcomes, especially in treating dancers and patients experiencing pain of a longstanding nature. Alan is currently working on his dissertation project for his doctorate degree and is interested in the role of spinal dysfunction and its peripheral manifestations in dancers. Alan’s commitment to professional development has led to his role as a mentor for physiotherapists currently pursuing the Canadian and US Manual Therapy Fellowship Programs. Alan is fluent in Cantonese for those requiring a Cantonese-speaking physiotherapist.
Matt Cairns has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. He began as a personal trainer with a keen interest in weight training and basic strengthening. Through experiences with both his clients and his own body, he was introduced to Pilates. He worked with Brian Webb for 2 years exploring a new dimension of strength and flexibility that I did not know existed. This lead me to teacher training courses in Pilates and instilled a strong desire to continue to learn about the human body. He applied to physiotherapy school to deepen his understanding of the physical body. He has pursued post-graduate coursework and certifications in Manual Therapy, IMS, Trigger Point Dry Needling, Spinal Manipulation, Diagnostic Imaging, and Pilates. He now uses a combination of manual therapy, dry needling, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and education to help his patients. His approach is built on personal experiences, education and clinical reasoning skills. He spends time explaining your diagnosis or clinical presentation and work directly with you to help you organize and understand your exercise program and treatment.
Rainer Noack is a strong and invaluable player in the Arts in Canada. As a graduate of Sheridan College, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, his many positive experiences have influenced him to develop, coordinate, implement, and encourage countless theatre programs in the Burlington area. Most notably, he is the Founder and Director of Burlington Student Theatre since 1978, which offers one of the finest experiences currently available to students in Ontario. He has taught Drama in both the Public and Catholic School Boards. Rainer has inspired hundreds of students in the past to pursue careers in the Arts worldwide, and continues to inspire many more. Rainer is the recipient of notable awards, such as the 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and has been recognized as the Burlington Arts Person of the Year in both 1995 and 2009. In November 2014, he became the second inductee into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame, and is twice a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Countless hours of volunteer time as well as involvement with the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Creative Burlington, and Sheridan College’s Performing Arts Advisory Council for Technical Theatre, are just some of Rainer’s tireless efforts to promote the Arts. Rainer believes that the future of peace for humankind will come from artists, because that is what they do. Strength, confidence, and great work ethic are core values that Rainer applies to his career as an Arts Educator, and instills in his students as a sure path to success. The work Rainer does is invaluable to the City of Burlington, the province and the Arts in Canada
Erin Stanley is currently working as a physiotherapist at the Janeway Children’s Hospital, where she sees children of all ages, including many dancers recovering from injuries. Erin graduated from Queen’s University with her physiotherapy degree in 2003 and since that time has been working primarily within the area of pediatric physiotherapy. Erin spent 7 years working at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. As well, Erin had the opportunity to spend one year living and working in London, England, as part of the outpatient pediatric physiotherapy team at the Royal Free Hospital. In her life prior to physiotherapy, Erin was a passionate ballet dancer and dance teacher, with her teacher, Sandra Blackmore in St. John’s. As a teenager, she spent every summer at ballet schools across the country, including Canada’s National Ballet School, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Cleveland School of Ballet. It was through her many dance injuries that Erin learned about physiotherapy and the skills physiotherapists had to keep her dancing, which then ultimately led to the inspiration to choose it as a career path. Erin is excited to combine, both her love of dance and her skills as a physiotherapist, to present today and is always thrilled to help a young dancer get back to the stage!
Sonia Russ is a Commercial Account Manager with a Canadian Insurance Company. Her expertise in the industry is undeniable with over 40 years of progressive insurance experience. She believes that the foundation of business includes developing strong relationships with customers while providing professional service.
Dr Kirsten Setrakov grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. She began dancing at the age of 3 and continued as a competitive dancer for most of her life. Dr Setrakov graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science and a minor in French. She graduated first in her class from the Palmer College of Chiropractic and was recognized as class valedictorian. As a practicing Chiropractor at Flow Health Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, Kirsten is completing her Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course at McMaster University.
JaimeLynn Jelley works with Parks and Recreation Ontario, focusing on healthy child development in her role as Senior Coordinator, HIGH FIVE® Training and Stakeholder Engagement. HIGH FIVE® (developed by Parks and Recreation Ontario) is Canada’s quality standard for children’s programs and is now providing training in the Older Adult sector as well. On her path to Parks and Recreation Ontario, JaimeLynn was a Registered Kinesiologist, Varsity level softball coach and Supervisor of Child, Youth and Fitness Programs with the YMCA. JaimeLynn has an Honours Bachelor of Physical Education, a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, is NCCP certified and a YMCA Fitness Trainer.
Co- founders Jorie Brown and Nicole Pollock danced professionally for the NBA and CFL where their understanding, passion and love for branding began. This training infused the fundamentals of being confident and disciplined while learning invaluable skills, building a diverse network and understanding the importance of brand representation. Before joining forces to launch Cotton Candy, Jorie and Nicole spent 10 years in talent acquisition for promotional recruitment and managing staffing logistics across the country. This background has provided them the expertise in understanding the industry and the ability to select the best staff for in-field execution. Jorie and Nicole firmly embrace the mentality strong alone, unstoppable together and cultivate a company culture to embody that teamwork mentality.
Heather Ogden was born in Toronto and trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance in British Columbia before joining The National Ballet of Canada in 1998. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2005. Ms. Ogden’s repertoire with the National Ballet includes principal roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Onegin, Nijinsky,
Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School and a former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. She currently is the Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning at York University in Toronto, where she also is a Full Professor in the Department of Dance, teaching dance education and dance history. Dr. Fisher-Stitt is the author of The Ballet Class: A History of Canada’s National Ballet School 1959-2009 and she has presented papers at the Society of Dance History Scholars, the European Association of Dance Historians, the International Conference on Dance Education (ICONDE 2014) and the Popular Culture Association.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Catherine Taylor trained at the National Ballet School of Canada. After graduating, she moved to Winnipeg to study with David Moroni at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWB). As a member of the RWB corps de ballet, Catherine performed in ballets by many notable choreographers including Sir Frederick Ashton and John Neumeier, later returning to the stage as a character artist in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet among others. After joining the Artistic Staff, Catherine became Assistant to the Artistic Director, a position that she held for over 20 years. At RWB Catherine taught company classes and staged much of the company’s repertoire, through which she had the opportunity to work with many international choreographers. After moving to Ottawa in 2000 with her family, Catherine continued to work as a guest faculty member and rehearsal director with various major schools and companies including Ballet Jorgen, Ballet British Columbia, the Banff Centre, Arts Umbrella and Cedar Lake Dance in New York. Catherine has served as a jury member for Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Heritage Canada and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Greta Hodgkinson is a former principal dancer and current Artist in Residence with The National Ballet of Canada. Ms. Hodgkinson has performed every leading role in the classical repertoire and has worked closely with many notable icons some of which include William Forsythe, John Neumeier and Crystal Pite. As a guest artist, Ms. Hodgkinson has performed for companies around the world, some of which include The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Munich Ballet. She has also performed at many global festivals and galas such as the World Ballet Festival in Tokyo and the Gala des Etoiles. In 2000 and 2001, Ms. Hodgkinson was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse, and was awarded Best Performance by Dance Europe for her interpretation of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Ms. Hodgkinson has starred numerous films and TV documentary’s notably, Being and Nothingness, CBC’s Romeos and Juliet and The Rings of Saturn. She also appeared in the title role in The Firebird, The Four Seasons, A Dancer’s Story-50 Years of The National Ballet of Canada and “Ballet’s Greatest Hits”, presented in over 200 cinemas throughout North America. She has graced the covers of Dance Magazine, Dance International Magazine and has been featured in an abundance of notable fashion publications some of which include Vanity Fair, GQ Italia, ELLE and Flare. In 2017, Ms. Hodgkinson was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour which recognizes individuals whose exceptional achievement in their fields have left a lasting legacy in the province, Canada and beyond. Ms. Hodgkinson has received two Citations from the State of Rhode Island in recognition of her extraordinary talents and accomplishments as a world-class prima ballerina and her outstanding contribution to arts and culture in the United States.
Nancy Paradis performed as a principal and soloist dancer for many renowned companies including the Washington Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Louisville Ballet Company. She is no stranger to the commercial TV space having performed and choreographed for numerous shows in both the dance and fitness space including NBC’s Must See TV, A&E Promo, the MTV Movie Awards, while appearing in several fitness and yoga videos for Crunch Fitness and Power Core Yoga. Fall 2020 Nancy is excited to return to the Richmond Ballet to choreograph a new work/world premier. Nancy has taught as adjunct professor at University of California Irvine, Loyola Marymount University, Moorpark College and currently holds the position of Artistic Director of LA Dance Moves.